16 January, 2015
- Sukanya Kumar
The second part of the Mahabharata episode about the Pandava’s exile after the gambling game was presented as VirattaParvam, meaning the time frame spent with King Viratta. Disciples of AnithaGuha played different roles to delineate the story. The story covered the one year of AgnyataVasam, the living in disguise by the Pandavas.
“Starting from my very first 20 minute presentation of Basmasuramohini as a teenager till recent times, the dramatic quotient of Bharatanatyam has always fascinated me. The surroundings that I grew up in Andhra Pradesh and the cultural influences of our rich mythology continue to inspire me,” says AnithaGuha.
VirattaParvam opens with a song glorifying Devi. The students’ formation of lotus was a visual delight with MedhaHari as the Devi with immaculate posture and poise. The story of the Pandavas finding asylum in King Virata’s court in different disguises was explained in lucid language by RevathySankaran, for the benefit of the audience.
SathvikaRamani as Dharmaputra in the cloak of Gangabattar was compellingly stately, with other dancers donning the role of Nakula and Sahadeva. The actions of Bhima as the cook played by ShruthiKrishnamoorthy, chopping vegetables, cooking tons of food, making mouth- watering vadas had the audience entertained. The sound effects incorporated in the recording was very suitable and whetted the viewer’s interest.
Then came the crux with Pavithra Bhatt entering as Brihannala, the transgender dance guru of Uttara, daughter of King Virata. The sequence that followed showcased the entire Bharatanatyammargam with Pavithra as the teacher and Medha as the taught. It was a concise and compact lesson in dance training. There were also Kathak fragments that added to the audio visual pleasure.
Draupaditook guise asSairandiri, the sevika of Queen Sudeshna tending to her beauty regimen. RakshitaSaravanan with her thick long hairwas once again cast in the role, a sequel to VanaParvam.
Keechaka, brother of Sudeshna casts an evil eye on her and wants to possess her. Sudeshna orders her to go to his palace for fetching wine. Troubled by his lecherous behavior, Draupadi complains and cries to Bheema who kills Keechaka in a duel. The villainous acts of Keechake was well brought out by Sathvika Shankar, her make up very apt and real.
Then followed the scene where the Kauravas challenge King Virata in a war and Uttara Kumara, son of King Virata is scared and tries to run away from the battlefield but is motivated by the speech and valour of Arjuna in the guise of Brihannala. The battle scene with the Kauravas on one side and Arjuna with Uttarakumara on the other was engrossing.
Battle is won and the King and queen are too happy to welcome the Pandavas and the marriage of Uttara and Abhimanyu, son of Arjuna is celebrated with ritualistic pomp.
All’s well that ends well. The climax to the chant of Krishana Krishna Jaya, enacting various segments of Krishna’s life was lively and exhilarating with devotional flavor.
“Group presentations have a lot of advantages; the children learn to work in unison, learn discipline, learn to balance studies, work and classes, get to know mythological stories, our culture and learn things beyond a margam. They have great commitment and focus. It also gives a platform to very young artistes in small but significant roles. Also it draws greater crowd to the solo artiste after people witness the talented dancers in a ballet,” shares AnithaGuha.